Finding out you're having twins or triplets – or more – can be exciting and scary all at once. On the one hand, you're getting an instant family. On the other, you face the risk of premature birth, since multiple babies take up more room in limited space.
A typical, single pregnancy lasts about 40 weeks, but a twin pregnancy often lasts between 35 to 37 weeks. More than half of all twins are born prematurely (before 37 weeks), and the risk of having a premature delivery increases with higher-order multiples.
Premature babies (preemies) can have numerous health challenges. Because the care of premature babies is so different from that of full-term infants, preemies are usually placed in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) after delivery. The risk of developing health problems increases with the degree of prematurity – babies born closer to their due date have a lower risk.
There are also other complications that may arise with multiple births. In addition to the possibility of premature births, other medical conditions that are more likely to occur during a multiple pregnancy include preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, placental problems, and fetal growth problems.
Being part of a multiple birth can also be associated with long-term health problems in the infants. Developmental delays and cerebral palsy occur more commonly in twins than in single births, and there's a higher risk of enduring health problems with higher-order multiple births.
We're here to help.
If you are interested in scheduling a tour of our NICU, please call 682-885-4375. You can find information on how to refer a patient or other NICU contact information here.